Long-serving teachers an inspiration to Chichester students

Fond farewells have been said to two long-serving teachers at a Chichester school.

Clive Maybanks, who has just retired from Bishop Luffa School, joined the English faculty in 1974 and later became head of Story House for 28 years.

As the school paid tribute to Mr Maybanks at the end of term, he was joined by Joan Secombe who retired last Christmas after teaching English at the school since 1973.

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Miss Secombe had been head of Burrows House since 1981.

Head teacher Nick Taunt described Mr Maybanks as an inspirational teacher with a 'joie de vivre' and an unquenchable curiosity.

Mr Taunt said: "Generations of Story House pupils have known Mr Maybanks as someone who is unfailingly kind and in whom they could place an absolute trust.

"A similar number of English pupils have been enthused by his love of literature. His past students include published poets and writers."

Mr Maybanks took a special interest in the romantic poets, especially Leigh Hunt.

He made a life-long study of the poet, including research in the Keats Shelley House in Rome, during his sabbatical from school in 2005.

Mr Taunt said Miss Secombe had been equally influential to the students in her English classes.

He added: "She combined a determined edge with a rare warmth.

"Her inimitable teaching style gave pupils the confidence to draw out their personal thoughts and ideas, and express them in words that were both accessible and moving.

"She was also fiercely competitive. Few will forget her leap of triumph on the sports field in 2005 when Burrows achieved a record-breaking double, winning both the sports day and the House drama competitions."

Miss Secombe played a key part in running Knight Life, Bishop Luffa's successful creative writing magazine, for 25 years.

Mr Maybanks will continue to work with the school next year teaching A-level studies part-time.

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